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BritGrad Festival 2020: King’s Men Play Reading

Opportunity to Attend the King’s Men Play Reading Marathon

Hosted by Dr. Martin Wiggins


Originally posted: 10 July, 2020


This year, the Shakespeare Institute’s annual Play Reading Marathon, organized by Dr. Martin Wiggins, was moved online. From 4th May to 26th June, members, alumni, and friends of the Shakespeare Institute read forty of Shakespeare’s plays in chronological order. As Martin Wiggins points out:

This year we have developed a clear understanding of how Shakespeare wrote his plays for a definite group of actors with a range of different skills and talents, which recur from play to play in developing series; we have, in consequence, been able to deduce the main cast lists for the original productions. Seeing the plays through their original actors, rather than solely through their author, has brought them alive in many new ways.

The exercise was so rewarding that we decided to add some ‘extra miles’ to the marathon.* We are now reading the non-Shakespeare Lord Chamberlain’s/King’s Men plays in chronological order twice weekly. Delegates and auditors of BritGrad Festival 2020 are warmly invited to listen in and join in the chat box discussions on the evenings** of:

  • Tuesday 15th September for our reading of Middleton’s The Maiden’s Tragedy

  • Thursday 17th September for our reading of Fletcher and Beaumont’s The Captain

Please note that this is an ongoing, live experiment through which we are currently in the process of deducing the main cast lists for the original productions. As such, everyone actively involved in the project has given their consent for the readings to be recorded. Listening guests are not obliged to say anything or type into the chat box, so we would like to reassure them that there will in effect be nothing recorded of them unless they ‘opt in’ – which they are very welcome to do so!

You can see our very own Party Planner, Michael Joel Bartelle, in action as King Lear on day 29 of the Marathon here:

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/edacs/departments/shakespeare/news/2020/play-reading.aspx

*Organising Committee: Dr Martin Wiggins, Heloise Senechal, and Jodie Smith

**Exact times to be confirmed closer to the Festival




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